The Pirates’ free fall continued tonight as they lost a close game to the Reds. The 2-1 loss completed the sweep and brought the Bucs’ losing streak to six games.
A.J. Burnett pitched a pretty good game, but couldn’t get any support from the offense. He held the Reds to just two runs over six innings, and struck out eight. In the third, A.J. gave up two singles, followed by a “wild pitch” that advanced both runners. A groundout got a run in to make it 1-0, but that was all the Reds got that inning. The deciding run came in the sixth when Scott Rolen drove in Ryan Ludwick with a sac-fly.
Three straight singles to start the fourth by Cutch, Garrett Jones, and Gaby Sanchez tied the game. In the top of the sixth with the game still tied, the most enraging play we’ve seen all year cost the Pirates a run. Alex Presley tripled with one out to bring up Clint Barmes. Now we all know that Barmes isn’t a great hitter, and has been pretty bad in 2012. To his credit, he’s been better of late. Clint Hurdle’s solution to this was to attempt a suicide squeeze. The problem with this was that ROOT caught 3B coach Nick Leyva clearly leaning over to Presley to let him know, and it was painfully obvious that the Pirates had a play set. The Reds recognized it, too, and pitched-out as Presley broke for the plate. It wasn’t a great pitchout, but Barmes still whiffed on the bunt attempt. AP was tagged out at the plate, and another scoring opportunity was wasted. The one run was all the Bucs could get against Homer Bailey.
Rolen’s RBI was the game-winner, and the Reds’ bullpen shut the Pirates down for the last two innings. Pittsburgh-native J.J. Hoover pitched the ninth and earned the save.
Our Buccos are now 72-70, and with 20 games remaining in the season, they’ll have to go 10-10 down the stretch to have a winning year.
Pirates (72-70) – Reds (87-57)
Win: Bailey (11-9)
Loss: Burnett (15-7)
Save: Hoover (1)